How Shall I Comfort Christians Grieving for a Suicide or Who Have Thoughts of Suicide?
When? Sunday September 22nd, 2019 from 12:30pm-3:30pm. All materials provided. Light refreshments will be served. To learn more and to register please see the registration form below. Walk-ins welcome.
Why? About two thirds of depressed people think about suicide and between 10 and 15 percent of those being treated for major depression [severe enough to be hospitalized] eventually complete suicide. A key symptom of depression is the loss of hope. Unfortunately, hopelessness is frequently diagnosed as the loss of faith. Consequently, many who suffer from depression doubt whether they are worthy of being loved, even by God. Whereas the loss of hope is also misdiagnosed by people following a suicide, grieving Christians doubt whether their loved one is in heaven. Churches are in urgent need, therefore, of receiving assistance on how to provide Christian comfort and relief both to the suicidal (those with thoughts of suicide) and the suicided (those affected by a suicide).
Who? Pastor Peter Preus graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana in May of 1982. After serving congregations in Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, he most recently served The Lutheran Church of the Triune God in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota from August of 1999 until August of 2017, when he retired. Pastor Preus’s first wife, Jean, committed suicide in September of 1994. He remarried in May of 1997 to Julie Lams. Julie, in addition to serving as a loving wife and mother, recently retired from teaching at St. John’s, Corcoran MN. In the fall of 2011 Pastor Preus’s book: “And She Was a Christian – Why Do Believers Commit Suicide?” was published by Northwestern Publishing House. Pastor Preus has also written various articles on grieving for the suicide and ministering to the despairing Christian.
About the Presentation in Detail: Is it possible for someone who commits suicide go to heaven? A Christian’s suicide can be viewed as a paradox. How can this person, whose hope is focused on Christ and his salvation, apparently give up hope and determine that his life should end? In the first part of our presentation, Christian Comfort for the Grieving, we will offer assistance on what to say to fellow Christians who mourn for a suicide. In the process, we will answer questions Christians often ask about suicide. Here are a few. Is suicide an unforgivable sin? Why would a Christian even think about suicide? Can a Christian despair? Why is guilt so prominent among those grieving for a suicide? How can I comfort the grieving? What if a Christian is intent on ending his life? In the second part of our presentation, Christian Relief for the Depressed and the Suicidal, we will offer assistance on what to say to the despairing Christian. Here are some of the questions we will address. What should you do if you determine someone is suicidal? What does the despairing need to hear in order to regain hope? What does it mean to carry your cross and own your illness? What does it mean to both die and live through the Lord’s Word and Sacraments?
You can listen to or view the slides from the first Perspectives presentation at the links below.